June 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 37 March 2012

History of architecture

Meerovich Mark G.

DSc (History), DSc (Architecture),
Professor, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Civil Engineering,
Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Architecture.
Irkutsk State Technical University,
Irkutsk, Russia, e-mail: memark@inbox.ru

URBANISM OR DISURBANISM? A debate about the future of the Soviet cities

The debate about socialist resettlement is one of the key events in the history of the pre-war period in Soviet town-planning. It is well known that the views of the participants of that debate concerning the nature of socialist resettlement were sharply divergent. However, often they were absolutely agreed on a lot of essential issues, the fact that is overlooked and is not reflected in studies devoted to the debate about socialist resettlement. Moreover, such agreement in views was present not only among participants occupying "middle" positions but also between those who occupied absolutely opposite positions, such as "urbanists" and «disurbanists».

Paradoxically as it may seem at first sight, the Soviet leaders proclaimed simultaneously both disurbanisation (uniform distribution of industry) and urbanization (concentration of proletariat in new settlements). By way of realising the postulates of the Marxist-Leninist theory on uniform distribution of industry and population across the country, the authorities tended to concentrate new labour – peasants uprooted from their villages and «proletarianised» at the building sites of the five-year period – around the enterprises of the military-industrial complex.

The logically faultlessly constructed and consistently developed town-planning ideas of urbanization and disurbanisation of the Soviet architects/theorists and their proposals for existing and future cities were rejected because they also failed to meet the requirements of that organizational and management strategy.

Key words: Socialist city, socialist resettlement, industrialisation, town-planning policy in the USSR, urbanism, disurbanism

Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017